Adding to the floor materials that you want is often an energy intensive exercise that can be bad for the environment. Fortunately, there are a few alternative flooring solutions you can use that will still make your floors look great without being environmentally harmful.
Green Hardwood Floors
If you want to get hardwood floors that are better for the environment, it helps to look for Forest Stewardship Council certification. This organization makes sure that lumber being used to create the floors comes from forests that are managed sustainably.
This also means that if you buy hardwood floors that have this certification, you'll know that you aren't exploiting and potentially helping to destroy a forest in the process. The FSC makes sure that the forests used keep maximum biodiversity.
The council also ensures that the forests drawn on maintain their ability to filter the nearby water and air as well, since this is crucial to the preservation of the Earth's environment.
Some sources online say that it can be difficult to find FSC certification, but that it is easily the best indicator of a flooring company's commitment to environmental sustainability.
The main advantage of using Bamboo instead of other materials is that bamboo is completely natural and there is plenty of it on the planet. Additionally, bamboo grows much faster than other natural materials used for flooring such as many hardwoods.
Traditional hardwoods often require many years to grow again or you risk destroying the forest. Bamboo renews rapidly so you can draw from it much quicker without threatening the supply.
Bamboo is also actually harder than many other hardwoods such as northern red oak and maple. This means that bamboo will last longer. This is also a factor that causes bamboo to be more environmentally friendly than other traditional flooring solutions.
After all, the less you have to replace your floors from damage, the less you have to draw on earth's natural resources. Some bamboo flooring products actually come with warranties of up to 25 years due to the known durability of the substance.
Additionally, it's possible to harvest cork every eight years without causing the tree it came from to die. This is in contrast to many other woods where the trees can only safely give up bark every 25 years. It's also a fact that the process that creates cork produces almost no waste.
In fact, cork stoppers are a byproduct of the process that creates cork flooring, so the waste of cork manufacturing is actually useful all by itself.